hello, you're watching "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. more than 30 people died in a stampede during a new year's celebration at a popular tourist site. people gathered at the district in the town to enjoy the high-rise buildings across the river. rows in the area were filled with people and vehicles could not move because of the crowd. city officials stay the stampede occurred about 11:35 p.m. on wednesday. they say 35 people died and 43 others were injured.
police investigators in china tried to determine the cause of a fatal explosion that rocked a factory. it happened on wednesday morning in the southern part of the country and they say at least 17 people are dead and 33 others injured. several blasts struck the facility. the exploexs blew out the roof and walls of the plant and smashed windows in other nearby buildings. officials say operations at the factory had been suspended for regular checks and cleaning. reports suggests that leaking gas may have triggered the blasts. the factory is one of the world's largest for making axels for trailer trucks. search crews carrying out the grim task of looking for airasia flight 8501 are facing more obstacles. they've pulled more bodies from the waters.
but their efforts are being hampered by bad weather. indonesian authorities say the bodies of three men and a woman were found bringing the total located to seven. the aircraft was heading on sunned to singapore from surabaya in indonesia. the jet disappeared from radar screens while near kalimantan island during a storm. 162 passengers and crew members were on board. authorities have confirmed that the airasia flight crashed into the java sea. they say pieces of debris found in the area were parts of the fuselage. they say deteriorating weather conditions had prevented search helicopters and ships from reaching the area. indonesian officials say rescue operations will resume as soon as the weather improves. they're being assisted with the help of singapore, malaysia and the u.s. which dispatched naval vessels to the region. two japanese destroyers will join the search for the missing jetliner.
the defense minister ordered the vessels to be dispatched on wednesday at the request of the indonesian government. the two destroyers are returning from a mission watching for pirates off the coast of somalia. they are scheduled to arrive on saturday and are carrying three helicopters. he said in a statement his ministry will consult with the indonesian government on further action. japan's prime minister shinzo abe says he will make his country shine at the center of the world once again. he made the vow in a new year's statement. abe secured a landslide victory in december's snap election. he promises to push forward with reform more boldly and swiftly with a strong support of the people. the prime minister says he'll evolve his economic policies dubbed abenomics. he also says he will implement economic measures soon and press
ahead with his growth strategies. abe says japan has taken a peaceful path as a free democratic state. he stresses his country contributed to the peace and prosperity of the world based on deep remorse over world war ii. 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of that war. japanese government officials are planning to stipulate new conditions by the use of force by the self-defense forces in dropped security legislation. this follows a cabinet decision to reinterpret the constitution so the country can exercise the right to collective self-defense. the self-defense forces can use force only when japan comes under attack or when there is a clear and imminent danger of an armed attack. the cabinet approved in july new conditions for the use of force. one condition involves an armed
attack on a foreign country with which japan has close ties and there is a clear danger of japan's survival being threatened. prime minister shinzo abe maintains that japan should be able to exercise its right to collective self-defense to take part in mine sweeping operations. in the event of an armed attack, it's vital to japan. but there could be differences on specific scenarios within the governing coalition, for example, members of the coalition's party say a possible blockage in the persian gulf would not meet the new conditions. chinese president xi jinping has referred to his country's past resistance to japan's aggression in his new year address. xi emphasized that china officially declared december 3rd as a day of victory in its war of resistance against japanese aggression. he also said china designated december 13th as a national day of remembrance for those killed
in nanjing by the japanese military in 1939. the president noted the sacrifices and contributions made by the people who gave up their lives for the sake of the state. xi held talks with japan's prime minister shinzo abe in november. it was the first summit in 2 1/2 years. the president's address could be suggesting china's history to group the regions to the communist party and strengthen public opinion against japan. a declassified british document quotes a former japanese prime minister as saying his nation in china have agreed to maintain the status quo over the senkaku islands in the east china sea. files released on tuesday by the british national archives showed the remarks being made to late british prime minister margaret thatcher. the two met in japan in 1982. the document quotes suzuki agreed that the two countries should cooperate on the basis of their major common interest and leave aside differences of detail.
suzuki says they both agree to maintain the status quo over the senkakus without discussing the matter concretely. abe and he told thatcher the issue is effectively shelved. she was due to negotiate with china over future of hong kong which was british crown colony at the time. the document says suzuki persuaded her to hold direct talks on the basis of his own experience. a senior japanese foreign minister official denies the existence between any such deal between japan and china. he told nhk the mintry has not confirmed suzuki's remarks. he says there has never been any agreement with china to shelf issues regarding the senkakus. and there is no change in position that the islands are part of japan's territory both in terms of history and
international law. japan and taiwan claim the japan-controlled islands. officials at the bank of japan say the country's monetary base reached a record high for the fifth month in a row. the volume of cash in circulation combined with deposits at financial institutions at the central bank is rising due to their continued easy money policy. the official monetary base totaled more than 275 trillion yen, $2.3 trillion as of the end of december. that's up 5% from the figure from the previous month. it's also a 36% increase from the end of 2013 and tops the boj's target of 275 trillion yen. the central bank decided to provide additional liquidity in october to help the country rise out of deflation. officials are aiming at a goal of 2% inflation mainly during fiscal 2015. they plan to pump about 80 trillion yen or $670 billion a year into financial markets.
people have long seen the kimono as an icon of japanese fashion and culture. one man is calling on artisans to design a garment for each of the 196 nations. he's trying to do that in time for the 2020 olympic and paraolympic games in tokyo. nhk world has more. >> reporter: dozens of people turned out for the tradition of the kimono. this piece represents south africa, lithuania, buton, bavalu, brazil and qatar. yoshii produced the show. many kimono makers are old. they will start retiring in a few years. without handing down their know-how to younger people. >> translator: i really think
it's urgent we do something now. otherwise we'll lose this culture. >> reporter: takakura wanted to give veteran kimono makers a chance to show off their skills. he hopes the exhibition will inspire people to contribute to his project. he plans to offer financial help to young people who are learning the craft. takakura invited the best kimono makers from around japan to join him. more than 50 agreed to contribute. this is the kimono dedicated for lithuania, the motifs come from the world heritage church nearby the baltic sea. this sash is weaved by one of the most established textile makers in kyoto. they make the textile for the imperial family. among those who joined the project was this man.
he agreed to design a kimono garment for south africa. matsuta specializes in a process that involves his depiction for flowers. for this garment he applied several shades of purple to create these flowers. for a very short time each year, south africa's highland desert becomes fields of flowers. takakura dedicated an image of this scene to the spirit of the late president nelson mandela. he used a variety of techniques to achieve a sense of depth and dimension in the scene, which includes south africa's national flower. >> translator: i'm so moved. i've never seen a show like
this. it was wonderful. i'm very satisfied with my work. >> reporter: the south africa garment appeared at the beginning of the show. embassy officials were among those who watched the show. people loved it. >> this catches the beauty of south africa. it's our national father. the other flowers are to us as japan's sakura. >> translator: we're all different. by presenting all 196 kimonos together in harmony, i want to send a message of world unity. >> reporter: takakura says he's just getting started. he has a long way to go to revitalize the profile of kimono
before the world gathers in tokyo in 2020. nhk world, tokyo. lawmakers in greece have dissolved the country's parliament for a snap general election. radical leftists have increased their support rate by rejecting harsh austerity measures. the parliament dissolved on wednesday after failing on monday to choose the nation's next president. a general election has been call for january 25th. the radical leftist opposition party is against the budgetary reform programs. the policies were instituted by the government in exchange for financial support from the european union and international monetary fund. the upcoming election is making germany and other eu leaders nervous as to whether greece will stick to the bailout agreement. the u.n. security council has rejected a resolution
setting a deadline to establish a sovereign palestinian state. the resolution was submitted to the 50-member council by jordan. it also set a target of achieving israeli/palestinian peace within one year. the resolution received votes falling short of the nine needed for adoption. the united states and australia voted against the measure. britain and four other nations abstained. >> we voted against it because we know what everyone here knows as well, peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at the negotiating table. >> the security council has once again failed to uphold its duties to address these crisis and meaningfully contribute to a peaceful and lasting solution in accordance with its own resolution. >> the resolution was designed to move the peace process forward as u.s.-backed negotiations have stalled.
the people who run a nuclear plan the in the northeastern u.s. have brought the reactors to a halt. they stopped sending power to the grid after more than four decades. state officials opposed continuing the plant operation for safety reasons, following the fukushima disaster. the 42-year-old reactor is the same type as the number one reactor at the crippled japanese plant. the plant's executives say the closure is for financial reasons. they say changes in the energy markets make operation too costly. they say the cost of thermal power generation is declining due to increased domestic production of shale gas. and investments to meet safety standards are rising. it will now undergo about 60 years of decommissioning. people in indonesia have
performed a shadow puppet theater for more than 1,000 years. but recently, they've seen participation dwindle as people turn to the internet and other forms of entertainment. one young malaysian puppet master is trying to turn things around by exploring new possibilities in the traditional theater. nhk world reports. ♪ >> reporter: characters are draw from ancient indians. the presence in this tale is trying to rescue his wife from a devil who kidnapped her. there's no script. people have passed the story down orally. ♪ the puppet master is at the center of the action. the 36-year-old is one of only a few rising stars in the field. he writes the story and he plays several puppets at the same time, all the while directing a traditional orchestra. he follows a story but adds new episodes and dialogues and often
gives the show a new look. he also makes puppets himself. he uses cowhide and goat skin to make sure the figures move smoothly. >> the skin is properly processed, it can stay long, might be 20 years. we have plastic but it can stay long with the plastic. >> reporter: kamrul's father gives him hands-on advice. 65-year-old husin is also a delong. >> translator: kamrul was watching the shows until very late at night, even when he was small. i'm so proud of his success. >> reporter: families from generations pass down knowledge and techniques. once there were 300 delongs in
the province where kamrul grew up. now just a dozen or so remain. kamrul wants to preserve the tradition, so two years ago, he began teaching local children. he invites children over 3 years of age to take part. he writes unique rhythms on a piece of paper, so everybody can understand. then just as his father did with him, he takes the children by
hand and teaches them step by step. >> translator: there are a range of puppets and the fighting scenes are exciting. >> reporter: kamrul is also exploring new possibilities for the puppet theater. in august he took part in a joint show in kuala lumpur. kamrul found a lot of similarities between the two types of theater. the performers overcame the language barrier and put on a professional and captivating show. >> to make it more understanding and more flexible. this is a start for this
tradition to continue, it might be a new contemporary thing. >> reporter: kamrul continues to explore new horizons while preserving the traditions. nhk world, kuala lumpur. a japanese artisan has a unique take on the classic picture book. she crafts each one by hand from fabrics adding a personal touch that seems to connect with
readers. now her creations are reaching children around the world. nhk world has the story. >> reporter: this is a classroom at a school for disabled children and their parents in tokyo. students with disabilities get the chance to experience something new here. junco watanabe created these special books. she's been making them for 35 years as a way to give disabled children opportunities to learn. watanabe uses felt, kimono material and other fabrics. details include embroidery,
buttons and string. children can practice tieing and untieing, buttoning and unbuttoning while touching the books. these exercises can foster independence. >> translator: sometimes a mother calls me to let me know a cloth book inspired her child's first words. that makes me so happy, it brings tears to my eyes. >> reporter: watanabe has assembled a group of volunteers that help make the books and donate them to libraries around japan. so far, the group has given more thonn 25,000 books to more than 500 libraries. this library in a tokyo suburb has more than 500 of them.
ako and daisuke live nearby. he was diagnosed with downs syndrome at birth. when he was a year and a half old, he began coming to the library with his mother to borrow cloth books. a book introducing musical notes really caught his eye. >> translator: we also borrow regular books but he's really drawn to the cloth ones. if i bring a big bag of them home, he'll say i want one of those. >> reporter: now daisuke can play the piano. it's a simple song but it requires both hands. ♪ >> translator: the cloth books have broadened his world. he learned how to read from them. and he got interested in knowing more about the things around him.
>> reporter: it's tough for daisuke to interpret the notes, move his fingers and listen to the music all at the same time but he keeps trying. now watanabe and her team are sending the cloth books to children around the world, especially those living in poverty or without access to education. some books were sent to an orphanage in myanmar that takes care of 200 kids. many had lost their parents in ethnic conflicts or were abandoned due to poverty. other books were sent to students in africa. they reflected cultural differences like the way people fingers. >> translator: people learn their own country's language and think and act in that language. just one cloth picture book is something people can explore and learn from. that's why i want to pass them
on to future generations around the world. >> reporter: watanabe believes all children, regardless of their circumstances, can learn something from her picture books. and she hopes this seed of an idea takes root around the world. miko suzuki, nhk world, tokyo. japan's emperor and empress will likely visit the pacific island country of palau in april. this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. japanese officials are arranging the visit for april 8th and 9th. emperor and empress will attend a welcoming ceremony. they will visit the marshall islands at a reception in palau's largest town. the three countries became battlegrounds during world war ii. on the second day, the emperor and empress will fly to an island, the site of a fierce battle.
would you rather spend your weekend mowing your lawn - or relaxing in your backyard? when you choose native, drought- tolerant plants for your landscape you can attract wildlife, stop using unhealthy pesticides, and save money on your water bill. a native plant is one that grows naturally in your area and climate. because it 's adapted to living there, it can withstand the heat cold, and rainfall that's part of the natural system. native landscaping is every bit as beautiful as exotic plants that need constant watering and
attention. and with native plants, you'll save money on fertilizers, too. for more information about creating a water- efficient earth- friendly landscape in your yard, go to your local library or online for ater efficient landscapingsolutions. now that makes sense! male narrator: funding for this program was made possible in part by ama waterways, offering european river cruises during the holidays and throughout the year, and by viewers like you. thank you. the danube river on a frosty winter's day. although once the wild borders of tribal communities, the river now connects magnificent cities that have been built on its banks over the centuries.
we visit these cities at christmastime when the cold and dusky winter is brightened by colorful and festive traditions and celebrations. with outdoor christmas markets performances of joyful music creation of special sweet treats and dazzling decorations and illuminated displays the cities, towns, and villages on the danube embrace the season.